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I am unable to use an ODBC 64-bit driver with SSMS 2012 running on a SQL Server 2012 64-bit instance. However, I believe that the 32-bit driver works.

My question is can I use SSMS 2005 32-bit to create a linked server using ODBC on a 64 bit instance of SQL Server 2012? I tried to do this, but when I clicked on OK to create the linked server I got the message:

Index was outside of the bounds of the array

Is what I am doing completely wrong or is there somehow a way to create this linked server using a 32-bit ODBC connection?

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    Why oh why oh why are you trying to use SSMS 2005 (regardless of bitness) to connect to a SQL Server 2012 instance? STOP DOING THAT. – Aaron Bertrand Feb 11 '13 at 1:27
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No, you cannot load a 32-bit ODBC driver into the 64-bit SQL Server address space (reference). From your flurry of recent questions, it seems you are having continuing problems accessing a Pervasive database using their 64-bit driver. Have you considered contacting Pervasive support for assistance or an updated driver? You could also ask a question on their forum.

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The "bitness" of your workstation should not prevent you from performing a task on a SQL Server, regardless of what the "bitness" of the server is. I've used 32 bit workstations (and therefore 32 bit SSMS installations) to administer 64 bit servers for something like twelve years.

I would suspect that SSMS 2005 might have problems when administering SQL 2012. I would want to upgrade my workstation's SSMS to the same version as whatever the newest server that I have to administer is. SSMS compatibility usually works "backwards", meaning that SSMS 2012 can handle SQL Server 2005, but not the other way around.

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    Just FYI SSMS is 32-bit no matter what your underlying operating system is. Same with Visual Studio. – Aaron Bertrand Feb 11 '13 at 1:26
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    Yes, but I figured that simplification was easier than trying to describe how 32 bit drivers can't be loaded into 64 bit address spaces, or how SSMS is just calling procedures on the server to do stuff like list out available drivers (so it doesn't even matter what drivers are on your workstation) or even to bring SSIS packages (which I have personally seen a lot of developer confusion on) into the 32/64 bit driver discussion. I am a naturally wordy person but, from what I see on SE, it is the short and speedy answers that get rewarded. – Darin Strait Feb 11 '13 at 21:21
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    I think the fastest gun in the west issue is much more true on stack overflow than here. – Martin Smith Feb 12 '13 at 17:35

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